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Australian sailors at 2020 ILCA Laser Standard World Championship - Overall

by Clare Ridgway 15 Feb 22:54 PST 9-16 February 2020
Matt Wearn - 2020 Laser Men's Standard World Championships © Jon West Photography

Matt Wearn has won a Silver Medal at the 2020 Laser Men's Standard World Championships at Sandringham Yacht Club today. This is the Tokyo-bound athlete's third World Championship silver, to go with the results collected in Aarhus in 2018 and Sakaiminiati in 2019. The final day of racing proved tough for the Australian Sailing Team and Squad athletes, with three races in an Easterly 18 to 22 knots.

"It was another three races in some shifty conditions," said Wearn after finishing twelve points behind new World Champion, German Philipp Buhl. "I'm a little bit disappointed not to be on the top step but Philipp clearly out sailed me this week. This regatta sets us up well for Tokyo. We'll go home and sort a few things out and iron out the creases to be ready and fighting for the Olympics in five months."

Australian Sailing Team Head Laser Coach Michael Blackburn was happy with the overall results for the team. "It's been a windy regatta throughout which our boys have loved and hated," said Blackburn. "We know Wearn has some things he can still work on. We are still encouraged ahead of the games that he will do really well."

Luke Elliott, also known as Swifto, achieved a personal best finishing the regatta in seventh despite an off day today achieving a 14th, 24th and a 10th. "I made a few poor choices in the second race and ended up back in the pack," said Elliott. "Luckily in the last race I managed to find my way to the top which helped me to consolidate seventh overall. I want to get home and recover. I've been trying to deal with an injury all week which has been interesting. Hopefully we can get that sorted as soon as possible and get ready for Europe."

"Swifto's been working really hard and chipping away and gradually improving over the last few years so I'm really happy for him to get a top ten result for the first time," said Blackburn.

Defending World Champion and Rio Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Burton finished the regatta in 15th. "I didn't sail my best at the start of the week," said Burton. "I sailed a bit better in Gold Fleet. I always seemed to find myself on the wrong side of the course. It was pretty tough, and they were conditions I didn't want for the preparation I did."

Australian Sailing Squad members Mitchell Kennedy and Finn Alexander finished one point apart placing 27th and 28th respectively. "I'm pretty happy," said Kennedy. "There have been some tough days. Now I'll have a bit of time off, do some work and reassess."

Alexander started the regatta strong leading the event after the first day but gradually slipped down the leaderboard throughout the week. "I had some good improvements in certain areas but honestly lacked a lot of speed especially up wind in the breeze. Going forward that is what I am going to be focusing on next. It doesn't matter what you do, if you're not going fast it is game over," said Alexander.

It has been a long summer for the Laser squad, having been in Melbourne since the Australian Championships commenced on the 3rd of January. They will now enjoy some well-deserved time off before preparing for their assault on the European regatta season. The first hit-out of that campaign will be the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma from the 25th of March.

For more information on the 2020 ILCA Laser Standard Men's World Championship and full results visit event website.

Australian Overall Results: (124 entries - three fleets of 40+, three days qualifying six races, then finals)

2nd Matt Wearn 6, 4, 2, 2, 2, (11), 4, 8, 2, 2, (9), 6 - 38pts
7th Luke Elliott 3, 6, 2, 1, (10), 7, 6, 10, 15, 14, (24), 10 - 72pts
15th Tom Burton 7, 13, 9, 7, 8, 15, 8, (17), 14, 11, 18, (43 UFD) - 112pts
27th Mitchell Kennedy (13), 7, 9, 9, 8, 9, 11, 35, (36), 39, 11, 9 - 144pts
28th Finn Alexander 2, 1, (15), 2, 12, 14, 29, 16, 34, 12, (37), 23 - 145pts

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